The Uber Experience en route to your Next Destination

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Photo courtesy of Uber

At first, when Uber was still making a name for itself in the Philippines, I thought what was this new trend everyone is talking about? Uber used to mean only super to me before the popular transportation app surfaced. I was only familiar with Grab Taxi when I first rode it in Malaysia (known there as MyTeksi) and Easy Taxi. Then came Uber, a new player in town, and everyone kept saying it was better than its other competitors.

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Photo courtesy of Uber

So finally I was able to try it for the first time when I went out with my sister who was already an Uber user. It’s basically a private car that picks you up directly where you are and brings you to your end destination. So what’s the difference, you might be thinking right? After several trips with them, I decided to feature it on my blog and here’s the breakdown on my Uber experience. But first let me show you how it works!
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Photo courtesy of Bhaskar Jayaraman

Download their app on your cell phone like any other programs and sign up with a new account. For first time users, you get a Php200 off your first ride and Uber will send you a code to input which you can use when you order your first car. Screenshot_2015-09-10-12-52-45-856 Screenshot_2015-09-10-12-52-29-456

You’ll see two options, UberX and Black Car. UberX are regular vehicles such as Toyota Vios, Honda City, Hyundai Accent, Mitsubishi Mirage, Ford Ecosport etc. while Black Car are high end cars such as Mini Cooper, Ferrari, Toyota Camry, Subaru Forester, Ford Everest and Hummer. The flag down rate of UberX is Php40 while Black Car charges higher with a flag down rate of Php90. There’s a cancellation fee of Php100 if you decide not to push through with your car. You’ll automatically see from the map where all the vehicles are and how many minutes before they can pick you up. Next step is to input your pick up location so the driver knows where to get you.

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Afterwards, you can check the fare estimate and you have to input your destination so Uber can give you the range of the price. The payment will be charged on your credit card. If you have a promo code, you can input it there as well so you can have a discounted rate. Once you’re fine with the driver, you can click Request Uberx or Black Car.
Rappler1Photo courtesy of Rappler

You’ll see a confirmation that your driver is on its way and you can check where it’s at. That’s probably one of the best features of Uber as you’ll even see if it turned around, if it’s near your pick up location and if it’s moving or stuck in traffic. It also tells you the name of the driver, the car model and plate number. I wish though they put also the color of the vehicle to make it even easier to spot it especially if it’s picking you up at a busy area.

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Photos courtesy of Toyota, Kia and Honda 

So far these are some of vehicles I’ve tried with Uber but my favorite was the Ford Ecosport which was the nicest car I’ve ridden from their fleet. The great thing about Uber is that their vehicles are clean and new compared to some taxis that are old or dirty. There was only one vehicle I rode that wasn’t super clean but it wasn’t that dirty so it was alright. Once you enter the car, the driver will on the start of your trip and will end it once you reached your destination.

 The drivers are courteous and friendly. The best driver I’ve had was this man who used to worked at a big media company and he was talkative. He told me about the celebrities who rode with him and how they were, how long he’s been with Uber and how his experience is so far about the company. It was very entertaining indeed! When I reached my destination it was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella with me so he got out and brought me to the gate of our house with his own umbrella. That was definitely a plus to his good service.

I was also able to ride with someone who wasn’t the talkative type but he was still courteous so that was alright. Another was an old man who was friendly and talkative as well. He was funny so the entire ride was definitely entertaining.

The drivers I love are those who don’t rely too much on their Waze app and mixes both their knowledge of the roads in Manila and uses Waze to check the traffic or other routes. Some drivers rely on Waze only and sometimes the app brings you to a longer route. Some knows their way around the metro. I also prefer if the driver is flexible enough to follow my instructions if I have a better way than what Waze suggests or his own suggestion.

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Photos courtesy of Rappler

After your trip, Uber will send you a notification on the app about the fare price that was charged on your credit card. It will also send you a rate card so you can give them a feedback on how the driver was during your Uber experience. They’ll also send you a receipt via e-mail with a complete breakdown of the charges, the details of the driver, car, route, etc.
3Here’s a sample of my Uber ride from our house to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. I was lucky to have a Php200 off discount because it was my first time to use their service so from the original Php328.65, we paid only Php128. So that was really quite a treat considering how expensive it would have been without the discount.
1They have this feature called Surge wherein the rates are multiplied depending on the time you get it and usually during peak hours in the morning or at night the rates are higher. They have a higher rate when the amount of drivers available are not enough to accommodate all passengers needing a car. So in order for other drivers to agree to be available, a higher rate is charged to the customer.  It’s up to you whether you’ll get it or not.

Surge changes after a few minutes so either it becomes higher or lower. Too bad I really had to leave the house to reach my meeting at The Fort so I decided to approve it even if it was a x1.9 Surge so I paid a lot more. It’s better if you get their regular rate as it’s Php40 for flag down rate if you’re not in a hurry.

They say it’s safer to take Uber than taxis because the company can track where the vehicle is and now that it’s registered at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) then even better.  This was an issue before and a lot of their customers weren’t happy that LTFRB was questioning their service since they do provide a better commuting option for people. It’s not only in Philippines that they’ve raised issues but also in other countries as well. Going back to the safety aspect, I think being safe these days is really not guaranteed by anyone but then on the other hand, it’s good they can track their vehicles and it somehow it does give you a much safer feeling.

Apart from that, since you don’t pay in cash, it’s less temptation for drivers to take advantage so the company says it’s safer as well. But the downside is if you don’t have a credit card you can’t avail their service. If I’m not mistaken, they also accept debit cards.

They also have different promos like free ice cream, beer, concert tickets, discounts on several destinations, etc. I just wish though their promos would not be limited only to first time users but let’s say if I’m a loyal customer, I’ll get to have a discount after five rides or so. That would make me want their service more.

For me I love Uber for its convenience and its cheaper than taking a taxi.  No need to walk to the taxi stand and compete with other people especially during peak hours. It’s faster in arriving wherever you are, it’s cleaner and newer than taxis. The drivers are more courteous and friendlier. So far my Uber experience is really good and hopefully it will continue whenever I need a ride to my next destination!

For more info about Uber, you may visit their websites at:

Website: Uber

Facebook: Uber

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